I have the privilege of visiting the hospital in our area once a week. I bring Communion to those people who are bed-ridden and unable to attend Mass. How much these people look forward to seeing someone and being able to just talk out their worries was a staggering realization. Yes, most of them wish to receive Communion, but almost all of them want to know that they are still important, that they are loved.

Some will tell you how much they hurt, and are afraid. Others will take refuge behind a display of a false sense of security. And still others will manifest a calm that speaks volumes as to how they lived their lives.  However, most are nagged with the same doubts that we all have. They have doubts about the way they have lived their lives, doubts about some choices that they made, doubts about if they raised their children properly. All of these things prey on their minds, especially if they are in the twilight of their lives.

Some don’t have to say anything. The pain and suffering that they are feeling is etched in their faces. To even speak is an effort for some. Those in hospice are surrounded by their loved ones, who sit silently grieving and talk in whispers. Should the sick person be aware of their surroundings, they already know their end is near. Their worries, at these times, are almost overwhelming. Each person in the room seems to be confronted with their own worries at this time.

Amid all of this sadness, pain and suffering, worry and anxiety, people work their missions of love. The doctors, nurses, medical technicians, the people who deliver meals, or change the soiled linens all of these see more torment in one day than we see in a month. These are heroes, but do not see themselves in such light. They are performing tasks to help people who are in need, in distress. They see their lives in these positions not as jobs, but as opportunities to bring compassion and care to people in dire need. How strong their heart and emotions must be, to allow them to perform these tasks, day in and day out, without succumbing to the giant wave of sorrow that tumbles down on them daily. Pray for these people in the hospital. Not just the sick, but pray for the heroes who continue to perform these thankless tasks to benefit their fellow man.

When did we see thee a stranger, and take thee in? Or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And He answered them, “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me”. (Matt 25:38-40)